Tanahan is the ornamental pattern that forms the foundation of the Klowongan (outline) decoration; which is usually the main attraction of a piece of batik cloth.
Initially, the function of the Tanahan ornamental patterns was to cover the base of the batik cloth with wax before it was colored. Without Tanahan, batik artists worried that the background colors of their batik cloth will look uneven.
Tanahan is usually treated as a second-class ornamental variety. These patterns are usually 'hidden' behind the splendor of Klowongan (main design's outline); that dominates a piece of batik cloth.
Tanahan demands the highest skill in hand-drawn batik-making with canting. To make Tanahan background, batik artists use the canting (a pen-like tool used in making batik) in the smallest size, number 0.5.
All of Tanahan collection are dyed using 100% natural, chemical-free indigo. The darker the blue shade is the more number of dips required in the process. For the deep indigo blue shade may require up to 22 times to dip the cloth in the indigo dye.
About the collaboration and maker
Nur Hasanah (48 years old) from Degayu village in Pekalongan, Central Java, Indonesia. She is one of the beautiful souls who pours her years of dedication, attention, and love of batik onto your KELIR piece.
Ibu Nur started learning about batik when she was ten years old and got fascinated by the art of batik making. Today, it becomes her main source of income to meet her daily needs and to support her family.
At the start, she wasn't used to making Tanahan which requires the highest skill in batik-making. With other batik workshops before she only needed to follow an outline or pre-drawn pattern. Today, as she slowly learned the technique and got better at it, today she enjoys making batik with Tanahan pattern.
This collection made possible with Kelir in Indonesia who works with Zahir Widadi learn more here